Here's How to Read English Literature for the First Time

Nowadays, many kinds of classic English literature are available in online formats and some of them are even free to read. However, English literature is like classical music, they are both beautiful, delicate but quite hard to understand. In this article, we will show you how you should start reading English literature.

1. Start with the easy reads
Starting with something that is easy to read can be a good way to boost your interest in reading. Try searching for themes or genres that you might want to explore and begin reading them. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain or The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton can be a good starting point.

2. Avoid poetry
There are 2 types of literature, namely, prose and poetry. These two types of literature are different from one another and each offers a great pleasure and interest in their own ways. To familiarize yourself with literature itself, try to start with prose or works written in normal form instead of poetry which is quite hard to read.

3. Read a book summary
Consider yourself as an innocent kid trying to explore what might be good to read. This time, you might want to consider a book summary. Search online for the book summaries that interest you and read them a couple of times before reading a particular classic literature.

4. Learn more about the backstory
Suppose you want to read the classics like "Don Quixote", you should try to understand the background of the story. Try to take some time to study about the 17th century Spain, its society, culture, religion, and economy. Doing this way, you will understand the whole story more.

5. Look for books with film adaptations
Having not much reading experience is not a problem to start reading again. You might be hearing some famous authors such as Williams Shakespeare, Charles Dicken, J.R.R Tolkien and so on. Their works were produced into the Hollywood films. It can be a good springboard if you watch the movies before starting the same title.

6. Don't focus on tiny details
In literature, "symbolism" means something that is cleverly hidden. Every classic literature always has this element. As a result, you don't need to figure out the meaning word for word. Instead, try to focus on the main theme.

7. Join book club
You should remember that reading is a great way for unwinding. You should read whenever you are in good mood and wants to read. It does not matter whether you have read more than 10 write-ups in a day if you do not fully understand it, so try to read from time to time to achieve full comprehension. However, if you still don't understand what you are reading, try to join a book club near you. The good point of a book club is that you don't have to read the whole book and there will always be someone to help with the interpretation.

8. Use audio books
Many people spend more time on social media and they complain that they don't have time to read. Try to find the time that you don't do something productive and listen to the audiobook version of the classic title. By doing this, it will enhance your cognitive abilities and lead to a better lifestyle too.

If you want to become someone who can be a man or a woman of wisdom, you can trust reading to help you become one. Reading provides experiences that can help you widen your knowledge about everything. To keep you from reading more, it could help if you would share what you have learned from the literature you are reading.

Do you have other ways to start reading English literature?

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Last review and update: August 30, 2021
About the Editor
Ben Benjabutr is the editor of BookWorm4Life. He holds a Master's Degree in business with 10+ years of work experience and 8+ years of experience in blogging and online content production. He enjoys reading books about business, lifestyle and literature and he loves to share what he learns from books. You can drop him a line via e-mail.